Thursday, August 18, 2011

Venice by the Cornfield

Looking southwest, the Indiana State Office Building is shown in the background,
while a glimpse of the J.W. Mariott Hotel can be seen behind the tree.

Not really, but eh, what the hell, it might catch some attention. 

Until the development of the steamboat in 1807, people had never traveled by any means other than on foot, horse power, or by boats and ships pushed by the wind. Roads were hopelessly tedious and uncomfortable, making the country's rivers the preferred mode of travel. 

When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, connecting the east coast at Albany, New York with Erie, Pennsylvania its success launched decades of "canal fever" by states eager to provide their landlocked citizens with a way to get themselves and their produce to markets on the east coast and New Orleans. 

Indiana was not alone in this craze, but only one of its planned canals was completed, the Wabash and Erie Canal. Connecting Lake Erie at Toledo with the Ohio River, the canal route roughly paralleled the Maumee, Wabash and White Rivers over 468 miles, making it the longest canal in the country. Only two sections of Indiana's other planned canals were completed: the Whitewater Canal in southeastern Indiana, and the Central Canal in Marion County.

Construction of the Indiana Central Canal began in 1836 and was meant to connect Peru with Evansville over 296 miles, generally following the path of the White River. Portions of the canal still supply water to the city, while other sections serve as recreational areas. Stretching through the west side of downtown Indy, it connects the Indianapolis Zoo, the NCAA Headquarters and Hall of Champions, the Indiana State Museum, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. 
"Big Blue," the new J. W. Mariott Hotel,
opened at Indianapolis in February, 2011.
Restored in the 1980s and extended in 1995, this portion of the canal is part of the White River State Park, extending from Eleventh Street on the north at Boggs Temple, to the White River just above West Washington Street. Other sections of the canal can be seen on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Butler University, and running through the Broad Ripple neighborhood


dive said...

What a gorgeous spot, Speedway. I'm amazed to see it so empty. If I were there I'd be sitting on the bank with a picnic and a bottle of wine.
So nice to see canals refurbished and providing a fresh focus for the community.

Speedway said...

The was definitely not empty, I just happened to catch that first picture without all the walkers, kayakers, lunchers, people reading, people in paddle boats, etc. I took a couple pictures with people, one of some particularly pretty women, but couldn't get them cropped to suit me, so left them out.

Speedway said...

The "place," dammit! The "place" was definitely not empty. Argh!

Speedway said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dive said...

Dayam! I missed out on some particularly pretty weemen? Now I'm going to sulk all day.